Given the circumstances, Seth Griffith would probably be forgiven if he went the selfish route and decided to approach his first serious hockey injury with a full serving of angst.
Up until he broke a bone on his right hand on Feb. 10, Griffith went about four years without missing a game.
When you do the math, his iron man streak lasted 256 regular season matches, split between the Knights and St. Mary’s Lincolns (Jr. B). He also dressed for 40 Ontario Hockey League playoff games, as well as four Memorial Cup contests.
So, is he sulking on the sidelines? Not exactly.
Instead, the Boston Bruins draft pick has gained a new perspective on the game.
“Sitting out and watching a few games, I think it’s going to really help me when I come back,” he said. “It obviously sucks I haven’t been playing, but you have to look on the bright side.”
The 20-year-old from Wallaceburg has been forced to tinker with routine. The shifts lost to a wonky hand have been substituted for off-ice cardio workouts and power skating.
On game nights, Griffith has been keeping his eyes peeled on the action.
“Sometimes when you see guys cycling the puck,” he said, explaining an observation from the stands, “(you pick up on different) forecheck options. I’ve also noticed you have more time to make plays than you think.”
In the dressing room, the winger has become a pseudo-assistant coach.
“I try to give guys tips on what they could have done in certain situations,” said the assistant captain, who is expected to be out another week or two.
On a personal level, the inability to suit up down the stretch has cost Griffith the OHL scoring title.
His point-getting peers, Nick Cousins of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Charles Sarault of the Sarnia Sting, have bolted ahead in recent weeks. Griffith’s 82 points is now 16 points back of first, as he sits seventh overall.
“It’s a bummer knowing I could have been up there,” he said. “But, like I’ve said, at least the team is winning games. That’s the main thing right now.”
Knights defenceman Scott Harrington also hurt
London Knights captain Scott Harrington left Sunday’s game with an upper body injury.
On Tuesday, the team said its still waiting on an official diagnosis from doctors. No timetable has been set for Harrington’s return.
“He plays the most minutes for us, kills penalties unbelievably, plays the power play,” London head coach Dale Hunter said. “He’s a big part of the team, but (injuries) happen and some guys have to step up.”